The Following thought for the day was written by Brother Richard Morgan and provides insight and encouragement for those seeking to serve the God of Israel.
What does it mean to be a Christadelphian? While we’re separated from one another physically because of the lockdown, it can feel unsettling. We can’t meet together, so what do we make of the verse in our reading from Matthew 18, where Jesus says, “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” (v20)?
The term Christadelphian means “brethren in Christ,” which means we ought to be a community of believers. That verse in Matthew 18 tells us Christ is among us where two or three are gathered together. Perhaps we’re glad he didn’t say “where a congregation of our least fifty people is gathered together” because right now, we can’t do that.
The problem is, many brothers and sisters, because of our current situation, are alone in their houses. They can’t meet with anyone at all, so does that mean Christ isn’t among them?
To answer that question, let’s look at the verse in context. In my experience, it’s one of the most out-of-context verses used by Christadelphians. Does it mean what we often think it means that when we have a congregation of brothers and sisters of at least two or three people, Christ is there in their midst?
The immediate context is the passage, which gives us instructions “If your brother sins against you” (v15) and as Jesus goes on to explain, you must first talk to him privately, then with two or three witnesses, before dealing with it on an ecclesial level. So Jesus is talking about the importance of brethren reconciling. When there has been some sin that separated them, he gives instructions on how to mend the relationship.
That’s when he says, “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” He’s not talking about meeting together as a congregation at all; he’s talking about how brethren come together in reconciliation.
Another way to read verse 20 is, “For where two or three are united in my name, there am I binding them together.” In other words, what brings us to reconciliation is the spirit of Christ. He is the head, we are the body, and it is us being part of that body that binds us together.
So, what does it mean to be a Christadelphian? That we meet together two or three times a week in a hall and conduct religious services together? Is that what Christ is pleased with, so he chooses to be among us?
Or does being a Christadelphian mean something far more profound? We can’t assemble right now, but Christ should still be among us. And he is among us if we truly value what it means to be part of his body. He, as our head, directs us, and therefore it is his spirit – or mindset – that should control all our interactions. When sin causes a fracture in part of the body, what mends it is the spirit of Christ. When another part of the body is hurt, the spirit of Christ means we all hurt along with it. That is what it means to be a Christadelphian.
We aren’t brothers and sisters in Christ because we sit together in the same hall. We are brothers and sisters in Christ when we have sympathy for one another. When we care deeply for one another. When we come together in unity because we share the spirit of Christ.
Simi Hills, CA
[post-content id=105350 shortcodes=true]
View all the thoughts in this series here…